2020 Retrospective

Ummm… what a fuckin year that was, yeah?

-Shade

 

The Big, and the Personal

These two photos are from the middle of January this year, when the bushfires seemed sure to the defining event of the year. Bad. Like, really bad – people were suffering, koalas got even closer to extinction, and no-one in charge seemed to be doing anything sensible. People were running for the water and hoping the ocean would save them while the sky caught fire.

Me and my family were lucky – we live in suburbia, so the worst of it we got was weeks of poor air quality…which lead to the purchase of masks that would be so helpful for the rest of the year (to the people worried, it’s got a valve, but behind it is an N95 filter).

In a lot of ways, as put by people far more eloquent than me, this year is impossible to talk about. It’s so big that every week – and some individual days – could have entire history book chapters dedicated to them (November 5, I am looking squarely at you).

I am proud of myself in one way – I never panic-shopped. I was working part-time at the time of the Great Loo Paper Crisis, so I was able to go shopping a few times a week, scoot in just before rush hour, walk out with a bag of assorted groceries, keeping in mind what we actually use, rather than just scooping everything into a trolley, and stomping on some old ladies on the way out.

I was also one of the clever bunnies who bought TP from eBay (normal supplier of the fancy bamboo stuff, about 1.5x the price of normal) before it was cool – ie, before the price jumped up to 10x or 20x as greed set in.

No pasta on the shelves? I bought a damn pasta maker before they sold out across the country (though I missed out on a bread maker). (Expensive purchase, by omg, it elevates even cheapass Aldi pasta sauce and the cheapest mince a pension budget can buy).

Lush closed? Oops, I got into soap-making as a quarantine hobby. πŸ˜›

Also: moving in the middle of lockdown is not something I recommend.

I don’t know what 2021 brings. I know a lot of people are hoping that New Year’s day will somehow be a soft reset – and I’d be lying if I didn’t hope that as well – but I don’t think it will. Things can’t go back to normal, as normal wasn’t working. The situation is ongoing, so do all you can to stay safe.

[I’m being a bit fucking depressing. Sorry. Over the last few weeks, Corona-depression finally properly set in.]

Be good to yourself when you can. Be good to your friends and family when you can.

 

You can’t serve from an empty vessel. This year, this world, is beyond stressful right now. Look after yourselves.

 

Words, Words and More Words

In terms of content, I think we’ve done pretty good this year – roughly half of Mirrorfall came out this year, giving the world V4 and the first version I’ve ever really been happy with. Then we got a good start on Mirrorheart – 20 chapters as of writing this retrospective. I’m imaging that it will likely be somewhere around 50 chapters by the time it’s done, so we should roughly be looking at mid-2021 for the end of MH. (That is, if the world doesn’t turn into more of a soft apocalypse than it already is).

I’ll talk more about this when I eventually do the retrospective for MH, but trust me…it was a leap of faith to go this story route with MH, given how different it is from the previous versions. And the only version that bears a resemblance to it was abandoned after like twelve chapters and officially labelled as “Um, Oops”. Years of perspective and rewrites and getting to know the characters better and…I think it’s going pretty smoothly this time. (The key difference between MH4.0 and Um, Oops being when Stef comes back to life. MH, whatever the version, needs that time when she-who-is-supposed-to-be-the-main-character spends half the book dead, and the world spins on anyway.

And after more missteps than I care to recount, we finally got the podcast back up and going. In the new year, I’m going to do more of an advertising push, which will hopefully bring in more people who can cry along with things like MH#19 with you all. πŸ˜›

For now, the podcast is going to remain fortnightly – we’ll reassess in a few months and see if we can move it up to weekly, but with The World right now, I don’t want to overpromise.

Gratitude Journal, 27th December

I’m grateful to each and every one of you – old friends, new recruits; old recruits, new friends. Every comment, every meme in the discord, every PM, every reaction to this little world I’ve made. I love you all, you nerds.

 

Happy Birthday, Stef!
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